In 2016, The European Commission brought a ruling against Apple, ordering them to pay €13.1 billion in back taxes to Ireland, having deemed two rulings by Irish Revenue in 1991 and 2007 as illegal state aid.
Immediately, Ireland, outraged at the very idea that a large multinational company should have to pay that kind of tax money, and furious that such a windfall was due into the public coffers, naturally appealed the decision, along with Apple, arguing the decision should be annulled and the Irish people should have no right to €13 billion in unpaid tax.
Today, the EU's General Court favoured Ireland and Apple in the decision, and thankfully, Ireland will not be on the receiving end of billions of euro at the start of a second recession in a generation.
The court ruled the Commission failed to show to "the requisite legal standard" that Apple were given special treatment by Revenue in the two instances laid out.
Here is the court’s release. pic.twitter.com/HvAVp9Kl8O
— Will Goodbody (@willgoodbody) July 15, 2020
The European Commission is expected to appeal the decision to the upper European court.
The Department of Finance welcomed the decision in a statement.
"Ireland has always been clear that there was no special treatment provided to the two Apple companies - ASI and AOE. The correct amount of Irish tax was charged... in line with normal Irish taxation rules," it said.
"Ireland appealed the commission decision on the basis that Ireland granted no State aid and the decision today from the court supports that view."
Naturally, many Irish people are disappointed with the decision and feel the government applies a double standard when it comes to taxing of big companies.
Minimum wage workers earning a little bit more on the COVID dole: not fair and not sustainable!
Apple not paying €13 billion in back taxes: a win for Ireland!
— ⭐ amy o'connor ⭐ (@amyohconnor) July 15, 2020
Rte tell us "ireland and apple" won tax appeal, they mean the people lost 13 billion euro that Apple avoided paying in taxes. Our health, education, transport and other much needed public services, not to mention the fight against climate change have not won . Shame
— Brid Smith TD (@bridsmithTD) July 15, 2020
The government won the court case against apple. Ireland definitely lost
— Sean (@Sean_OConghaile) July 15, 2020
Ireland won!! That's the headline from Dublin.
- But who's Ireland?
The European Court rejected the argument of illegal state aid. They found that what Ireland did was legal.
- It was legal to allow Apple to pay 0.005% tax.
How much tax do you pay every month?#Ireland
— Aidan Regan (@Aidan_Regan) July 15, 2020
— J Galvin (@JoeGal79) July 15, 2020